LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
February 20, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The Dubai-based Jumeirah Group, of Burj al Arab fame, is heading to the Bermuda Triangle. The fast-growing luxury hospitality group has a portfolio with some of the most luxurious and iconic properties in the world: Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Madinat Jumeirah, and Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa in Dubai, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London, and the Jumeirah Essex House on Central Park South in New York. Ambitious new plans are in the works, including the first new luxury resort to be built in Bermuda in 35 years. Jumeirah Southlands Resort promises to shake things up in one of the most enduringly popular vacation destinations in the Americas. Scheduled to open in mid-2008 (pending the appropriate building permits, of course), the Jumeirah Southlands will be situated on 37 acres on Bermuda's South Shore. They're going for a contemporary, innovative style:
Seamlessly incorporated into nature by the extensive use of glass and seemingly endless vistas are a series of dramatically 21st century structures, stairways and open plazas that encompass the suites, ridge-top town houses overlooking the ocean, restaurants and other public areas.
Expansive beach and swimming pools? Check. Nightclub, bars, and restaurant? Check. Conference Center and business facilities? Of course. This resort will even have an equestrian center.
In the most romantic city on earth, the Hotel Cipriani offers the most luxurious accommodations in a secluded haven of elegance and calm. Located at the tip of Giudecca Island, the Cipriani is just a short, spectacular boat ride from St. Mark's Square. The 15th century buildings of the Palazzi, linked to the hotel through an ancient courtyard and flowered passageway, boast magnificent views overlooking the lagoon and Piazza San Marco. The gorgeous swimming pool, the only one of its kind in central Venice, likewise enjoys incredible views over the lagoon. The hotel's spa, named Casanova for the legendary lover who used to hold clandestine trysts in the gardens of the Hotel Cipriani, spills out onto private terraces with fountains.
In this magical setting, take advantage of a special three-day opera package which features a performance at the Fenice Theatre in Venice. The package is available starting with the premiere of Rachmaninov's Francesca di Rimini and Aleko on March 16, 2007. The Great La Fenice Opera Theatre Package includes three night's luxurious accommodation in a junior suite with full American breakfast, Italian Spumante and flowers in-room, two seats in a centrally located box at La Fenice (to be shared with another couple), one gourmet three-course dinner for two (either at the Cip's Club or in a Venetian restaurant near the Theatre La Fenice), and complimentary transportation to and from the airport. The package is priced at EUR 1,450 per night, from March 16-April 19, 2007, and October 21, 2007-January 6, 2008. (From April 20-October 20, 2007, the package is EUR 2,160 per night.)
Overlooking the Miles River by the Chesapeake Bay, the Inn at Perry Cabin is an elegant circa-1816 manor house located on 25 scenic acres. An Orient-Express Hotel, the Inn at Perry Cabin is only a short stroll from the Victorian resort town of St. Michaels on the Eastern shore of Maryland. Steeped in history, the award-winning hotel offers 80 guest rooms with stunning water views, private terraces, in suite fireplaces and oversized bathrooms. This is the perfect hideaway to warm up the winter evenings. From now through March 31, 2007, enjoy savings of 40 percent with a special offer of 3 nights for the price of 2 at the Inn at Perry Cabin. In addition to the great savings, guests enjoy fun added amenities: board games by the fire at Purser's Pub or delivered to your room on the first evening, DVD movie of your choice delivered to the room on the second evening, and candlelit turndown service, cordials in room and a bubble bath on the third evening. And let's not forget the freshly-baked cookies with each evening's turndown service. The package is priced at $540 for three nights based on double occupancy in a Signature room.
Look out, South Florida; St. Regis is coming to the beach. Scheduled to open on May 1, 2007, the new St. Regis Fort Lauderdale is bringing a whole new level of luxury to Florida's Gold Coast. With signature St. Regis Butler Service and exceptional facilities, St. Regis Fort Lauderdale promises ultra-luxury for guests: whether pool-side, beach-side, at the spa, golfing, or fishing. Celebrated interior designers Hirsch Bedner Associates have created an indulgent haven of seaside elegance; the 166 guest rooms, including 8 oceanfront and 20 Intracoastal suites, were designed "to evoke the glamorous era of vintage yachting and luxe travel," and showcase sweeping views of the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway. The hotel will feature a state-of-the-art fitness facility, 8,500 sq. foot exclusive St. Regis Spa, pristine outdoor pool area, private cabana terrace, business center, and dazzling dining room.
This spring, Grace Bay Club will re-open its original landmark hotel building after a $6 million, year-long transformation. Now both families and couples can experience this luxurious all-suite resort experience in the Caribbean. The 11-acre property comprises The Hotel, a romantic adults-only enclave of 21 opulent suites which will open in the spring; The Villas, a family-friendly retreat with 38 expansive luxury suites and one-of-a-kind penthouses, and The Estate, a collection of 22 custom residences and penthouse suites set to debut in 2008. Poised on the spectacular Grace Bay Beach on Provedenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the resort features three dining venues, the Anani Spa, an imaginative kids' program, and a full array of recreational activities, including tennis and oodles of water sports. Recently named "Most Excellent Resort" in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific by Condé Nast Johansens, Grace Bay Club is consistently ranked among the world's finest resorts.
In an era of premium air travel for the uber-rich, the likes of which has never been seen before, Singapore Airlines proves itself a trendsetter with the launch of its new fleet of Boeing 777-300ER's. As described by ABC News, the "Orient Express of the skies" makes the 20-hour flights seem short:
For a mere $10,000, first class airline passengers can now rest their champagne glasses on mahogany tables as they hunker down in Givenchy sleep suits in 30-inch leather seats that turn into cozy beds.
This is luxury flying at its finest, with the world's widest First and Business Class seats, enhanced personal space, awesome entertainment systems, and tempting cuisine. In addition, Singapore Airlines is scheduled to launch its new 555-seat Airbus 380 in October, which will boast a bar on each deck.
It may be sleeting, hailing, snowing (et freaking cetera) in this hemisphere, but the sun is shining in Cape Town. For those in desperate need of the summer sun, take off for Cape Town to bask in some sizzling temperatures. Twelve Apostles is the place to be, perfectly situated above the sea with stunning views of the mountains. The hotel boasts equally as stupendous accommodations and facilities: heated pools perched above the Atlantic, the exquisite Azure restaurant, the seriously sublime Sanctuary Spa, and panoramic sea views that go on forever. Of course Twelve Apostles has racked up a slew of impressive awards and accolades, as befits one of the world’s best hotels. When you stay for three nights at Twelve Apostles, get the fourth for free, along with a slew of added amenities thrown in. Like welcome drinks, full South African breakfast daily, wine tasting daily in Azure restaurant, complimentary transfers, and use of the hydrotherapy pools, aroma sauna and flotation tank at the Sanctuary Spa.
As if a stay at the Banyan Tree in the Maldives wasn't magical enough. The resort has organized sailing expeditions aboard the Turkish gulet, a 30-meter double-mast yacht named Velaa. Elegantly appointed, the yacht can accommodate up to 12 guests in comfortable mahogany cabins for one-, two-, and three-night adventures to the best dive spots in the North and South Male Atolls of the Maldives archipelago. With five-star service onboard, gourmet cuisine, daily canapés and drinks, and luxurious cabins equipped with LCD TV screens and DVD players, this isn't exactly roughing it. Soak up the sunshine from the ship's deck, picnic on secluded beaches, explore the wonders of the deep, diving with grey reef sharks, eagle rays, barracuda, stonefish and turtles. After your unforgettable journey, return to the luxury of Banyan Tree Maldives for some more pampering.
Headed to Sonoma wine country? Forget trying to score a reservation at French Laundry. Head to Cyrus, the gem of a restaurant nestled just off the square in Healdsburg, housed in the superb Les Mars hotel. Rising Star Chef Douglas Keane and Maitre d' Nick Peyton offer contemporary cuisine in a flexible prix fixe format of three to five courses selected from any section of the beautiful menu. The ingredients are luxurious, the best from California's enormous bounty. Devour the terrine of foie gras with plum-ginger compote; corn, chanterelle and pancetta pansotti with cranberry beans, arugula and nage; or rack of lamb with eggplant ragout, fregola and stuffed squash blossom. Bartender Scott Beattie creates drinks to match, like the Creole Watermelon, a blend of vodka, crushed red watermelon, lime juice and Fresno chile rings, garnished with a triangle of watermelon rubbed with lime juice, kosher salt and chili powder. And if cocktails aren't your thing, Sommelier Jim Rollston's extensive wine list has over 750 world class wines, with a special focus on Sonoma appellations.
February 13, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The hottest "new" hotel in Manhattan, the most talked about hotel opening of 2006, Gramercy Park Hotel is Ian Shrager's latest masterpiece. With the bold redesign of the classic Manhattan icon, Gramercy Park Hotel has emerged as the luxurious hideway for the "new haute bohemian." Artist Julian Schnabel has created the gorgeous, sensual interior, which features art exhibits including works by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Lucky guests can imbibe cocktails under the stars at the Private Roof Club and Landscaped Garden, opening this spring. But perhaps the best part of Gramercy Park Hotel: guests receive a key, upon check-in, to the exclusive, gated Gramercy Park. Take advantage of a fantastic offer at this gem in NYC. For a limited time, receive a complimentary room upgrade for stays from February 25-March 18. Available with online bookings only. Upgrade is not available for suites, and blackout dates may apply.